Hurricane Harvey damaged ExxonMobil refineries, causing hazardous pollutants to leak

August 29, 2017 by  
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After Hurricane Harvey devastated parts of Texas last weekend, you probably didn’t think the situation could get any worse. Sadly, it did. On Tuesday, ExxonMobil acknowledged that two of its refineries were damaged during the natural disaster, causing hazardous pollutants to leak into the environment. The acknowledgment was made in a regulatory filing with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, following repeated complaints on social media of an “unbearable” chemical smell in parts of Houston. In the filing, ExxonMobil said that a floating roof covering a tank at ExxonMobil’s Baytown oil refinery sank due to heavy rain. This, in turn, caused it to dip below the surface of oil or other materials stored there, causing “unusually high emissions, especially of volatile organic compounds, a category of regulated chemicals,” reports the Washington Post. The Baytown Refinery is the second largest in the country. ExxonMobil is seeking a permit to empty the tank and make repairs. Reportedly, the company is planning to “conduct an assessment to determine the impact of the storm once it is safe to do so.” A spokesperson for ExxonMobil refused to say what was in the tank. The extent of Hurricane Harvey’s damage doesn’t end there. ExxonMobil’s Beaumont petrochemical refinery suffered damage to its sulfur thermal oxidizers, which capture and burn sulfur dioxide. As a result, the plant expelled 1,312.84 pounds of sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere — well in excess of allowable emissions. The company said in a statement, “The unit was stabilized. No impact to the community has been reported. Actions were taken to minimize emissions and to restore the refinery to normal operations.” Related: CA communities sue Exxon, Shell and 35 other fossil fuel companies over climate change According to Luke Metzger, director of the group Environment Texas, “Most of the unauthorized emissions come from the process of shutting down, and then starting up, the various units of the plant, when pollution control devices can’t be operated properly and there’s lots of flaring.” Flaring is usually done when releasing chemicals without burning them is more hazardous for the local community and environment. The company admitted to flaring hazardous materials at its Baytown refinery both Sunday and Monday. ExxonMobil isn’t the only company responsible for environmental damage in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. The Washington Post reports that many facilities belonging to major companies filed notices with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The Cedar Bayou chemical plant, for instance, exceeded permitted limits for several kinds of hazardous pollutants, including 1,3-butadiene, benzene and ethylene, during shutdown procedures. Litigation may now follow, considering the release of carcinogens increases the risk of cancer for those living near the plants. Via Washington Post Images via ExxonMobil , Pixabay

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Hurricane Harvey damaged ExxonMobil refineries, causing hazardous pollutants to leak

Lakeside cabin made out of reclaimed wood is as idyllic as it gets

August 29, 2017 by  
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Seattle-based architects, Hoedemaker Pfeiffer  just unveiled a contemporary cabin-style home built on the banks of beautiful Lake Chelan. The architects used planks of reclaimed wood to build the stunning home, which sits overlooking incredibly scenic views. Think they have a guest room for us? The lake house design is a contemporary take on the traditional wooden cabin , with plenty of carefully cultivated rustic charm included throughout. The 3,300- square-foot structure – which is clad in reclaimed lumber and roofed with corrugated galvanized steel – sits on a heavily-wooded lot with front slope of natural stone. The interior is a bright and airy space with wooden flooring and exposed Doug Fir beams in the kitchen and living room. Related: Architect Jim Olson spent 55 years renovating this breathtaking Puget Sound cabin However, it’s clearly the lake view that inspired the beautiful home’s design. Large windows in virtually every room flood the interior with natural light as well as offer breathtaking views of the picturesque surroundings. The heart of the home is the open-air terrace that sits adjacent to the lake’s edge. Covered with a chunky wooden pergola , the outdoor area is complete with a glass-enclosed fire pit and plenty of comfy seating. + Hoedemaker Pfeiffer Photography by Thomas J. Story  

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Lakeside cabin made out of reclaimed wood is as idyllic as it gets

Aquarium Garden transforms any fish tank into a lush ecosystem

May 24, 2016 by  
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The Aquarium Garden by Home Ecology transforms any fish tank into a lush ecosystem with herbs, plants and flowers on top – a perfect decorative and culinary addition to any home or work environment. The Aquarium Garden kit consists of a plastic planter box, Aqua Biofilter growing material, hooks and suction cups. Just add 3 seedlings per planter, and your tank will start growing plants. The home aquaponic system improves fish health, naturally filters the tank by growing plants above and below…

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Aquarium Garden transforms any fish tank into a lush ecosystem

Bike Benefits: 6 Reasons To Pedal Power Your Commute

July 22, 2015 by  
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What’s the one mode of transport that won’t fail you if you forget to top up your tank before leaving town, can help you shed extra weight, isn’t likely to get you stuck in the middle of a traffic jam and is highly wallet-friendly and eco-friendly…

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Bike Benefits: 6 Reasons To Pedal Power Your Commute

What can I reuse or recycle to make an aquaponics system?

February 2, 2010 by  
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As I mentioned in reply to Charlotte yesterday, I recently read about the concept of aquaponics and was quickly smitten – another thing for my endless “cool things to do in the garden” list. It’s a good job it’s a pretty big garden. The idea is that you have a mutually beneficial veg bed and fish tank – the fish dirty up the water with lots of valuable nutrients (poop nutrients = pootrients) which is pumped up to fertilise the gravel-bottomed veg bed.

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What can I reuse or recycle to make an aquaponics system?

Awesome reusing & recycling links from around the web

February 2, 2010 by  
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Lynsey from SwirlyArts has been in touch to tell us about two of her recent reusing projects – turning a unwanted old diary into an expenses notebook and how to make pretty padded envelopes out of old books & bubblewrap , as an alternative to boring Jiffy bags. The Cottage Smallholder is having a reusing/recycling gardening competition this month – how are you reusing/recycling things to get ready for the next growing season

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Awesome reusing & recycling links from around the web

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